Wiki-PR, like My Wiki Pro before it, offers a (somewhat) controversial service. I say somewhat because, in a perfect world, you shouldn’t need to pay someone to get yourself a Wikipedia page. And also in that perfect world, you shouldn’t need to pay extra to maintain that page or to pay someone to do any sort of PR work just to make sure that page sticks. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and Google places a tremendous amount of importance on Wikipedia pages. Therefore, if you’re not in Wikipedia, one could argue that you don’t exist.
The other thing is that reporters / bloggers / journalists are incredibly lazy today and constantly crunched for time. If a story breaks and they don’t post it up within fifteen minutes, someone else is going to get that story live and get the page views from Google. That means if you’re the subject of a story that’s breaking (or a story that’s being pitched to them), and they can’t find you in under five minutes, they’re less likely to cover that story. They’re also more likely to regurgitate anything said about you that they found in your Wikipedia page, even if that stuff isn’t true and you planted it there in the hopes that regurgitation happens. Because now that you have and now that they have published it, that myth becomes fact. This happens more than you’d think.
So it shouldn’t be any surprise then that creating, editing, and maintaining Wikipedia pages are a big business. One that involves hundreds of Wikipedia pages and accounts, thousands upon thousands of dollars spent, and a lot of mislead and manipulated reporters.
This morning Wikipedia decided to make an announcement concerning the latest group to be caught, Wiki-PR. I would excerpt the salient parts of the statement, but you should honestly just read it. And then realize that Wiki-PR was just one of numerous, numerous entities out there doing this. And although on paper Wikipedia’s stance makes a lot of sense, and there shouldn’t be a need for services offered by companies like Wiki-PR, until Google says otherwise, what works on paper doesn’t work in reality.
(Photo Credit: Mark Levin on Flickr)
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